Militants` diktat: Sarpanches, panches resign in panic
Srinagar: Two days after Jaish-e-Mohammad militant organisation issued threats to panches and sarpanches in south Kashmir, nearly a dozen of them have announced their resignation.
The panches and sarpanches have announced their decision to quit from their posts through paid advertisements appearing in vernacular dailies since yesterday.
"Maine galati sey panchayat election mai hissa liya tha (I had taken part in Panchayat elections by mistake)," Feroz Ahmad Beigh, a panch from Zurkan in Keller area of Shopian district, said in the advertisement published yesterday.
Others who have announced their resignation through similar advertisements are Abdul Rashid Dhobi, Ali Mohammad Dar (both from Drobgam village), Mohammad Abdullah Dar and Amina (both from Sehpora village) in Pulwama district.
Officials claimed that while advertisements about resignations of panches and sarpanches have appeared in the newspapers, they have not put in their papers before the authorities concerned so far.
Jaish-e-Mohammad had earlier this week circulated posters in parts of south Kashmir, including Shopian district, asking the panches and sarpanches to resign from their posts or face "dire consequences".
The grass-root level representatives were even asked to announce their resignation, not only before the authorities concerned, but publicly as well.
Police had seized the posters and started investigations into the case. Although preliminary investigations revealed that the posters bore the seal of a militant killed in an encounter with security forces eight years ago, the militant `diktat` carried enough threat for these panches and sarpanches to resign.
DGP K Rajendra Kumar had visited the south Kashmir range headquarters yesterday and discussed the matter threadbare. He has directed the police officers to take necessary steps for ensuring the safety of the grass root level representatives.
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